Monday, 30 December 2013

Traditional Italian New Year Lentils

First of all, Happy New Year to everybody!!! Many things happened in 2013, good and bad, we all laughed and cried, we all had our highs and lows. So, let me wish you that the sorrows would stay in 2013 and the happy moments would follow you into the 2014. Good luck to all of those who read these lines!!!

What to prepare for the New Fear feast? I will stick to the tradition and besides other treats my festive table will host a dish that no Italian house won't miss: Lentils.
Lentils are usually served with a tipical New Year sausage called Cotechino or another treat called Zampone that is a stuffed pork leg. Both of them are boiled before serving. It's a simple dish that everybody will like. You may also eat lentils cold as a starter but they are best served hot.
According to the tradition, they say, you need to eat as many lentils as you can during the New Year dinner as they look like tiny coins and bring fortune and money for those who eat them. Let's have them galore!!!


500g lentils
1 carrot
1 stalk of celery
1 onion
1-2 bay leaves
200ml sieved tomatoes
1 tea spoon of salt
70-100 ml Extra Vergin Olive Oil
1L water

1. First of all chop carrot, celery and onion either with a knife or with a use of a chopper.
2. Using a  saucepan brown vegetables with the oil.

3. Add lentils to the pan with the vegetables, pour water and add 1 ore 2 bay leaves.
NOTE: Don't salt the dish as the salt renders the lentils' peel harder and you will need to cook them for longer.

4. Boil lentils for about 30-35 minutes stirring from time to time.
NOTE: You may need more water, so add little by little hot water. Never use cold water for to cook both cereals and legumes.
5. Add sieved tomatoes and salt, stir well and cook for 10-15 minutes more.
NOTE: Add more or less salt to your taste.

Buon Appetito and Loads of Money!